This is a guest photography post by Australian photographer Ben Mcrae.
The Himba are traditional, pastoral people who rely upon herds of drought-resistant cattle, hunting and gathering for their survival; they look and live like no other community in Africa. This image was taken at a settlement near Epupa Falls to which I’ve returned a number of times. The dark background was achieved by the contrast of bright afternoon light against an open hut door.
Photo tip: Creating a relationship with your subject is paramount when it comes to photographing people, especially when you want them to pose in a specific way to create the mood you’re after.
I was on one of the many crowded boats that flood the waterways on the Chobe River. We had begun our journey back towards the jetty just as the afternoon’s sky came alive as the sun set. While the rest of the passengers sunk the remaining beverages, I laid down on the open floor for a lower perspective to include more sky in the photograph.
Photo tip: If you haven’t heard of the rule of thirds in photography composition, it’s time you start reading up. Here, Ben has pushed it to the extreme to accentuate the important feature in this image – the beautifully coloured sky.
At dawn, when there are no other visitors around, you can truly appreciate the grandeur and power of the falls. On this occasion, the water level was much higher than I’d ever seen and I took the photograph from the only angle that allowed me to capture anything without getting completely drenched.
Photo tip: The early-morning light provided fantastic colours in the sky and allowed Ben to use a slow enough shutter speed to blur the motion of the water and create this dreamy effect. Using a neutral-density (or graduated neutral-density) filter can also help you to slow down your shutter speed further, making this effect even easier to achieve.
To see more photos by Ben McRae, visit www.benmcraephotography.com.
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